'Children of Australia’s long boom – who travel the world only to complain about lack of good coffee, who signal virtue by retweeting an asylum seeker story, who couldn’t imagine living in a house with only one bathroom, who are “really into food” – may find Michelle de Kretser’s new book an uncomfortable read.'(Introduction)
'Life is strong in people – we didn’t get to be wreckers of the planet without a mighty life force in us. But accepting death is one of the contentments of age.'
'Australian author AS Patrić’s debut novel tells the story of two migrants from the former Yugoslavia trying to rebuild their lives in late 1990s Australia. Black Rock is a suburb of Melbourne with a large immigrant population, and “white city” – the literal English translation of “Belgrade” – connotes renewal and regeneration, the blank slate of a fresh start. His protagonists, Jovan and Suzana, lost everything in the Balkan conflict: their two young children, their livelihoods and much of their will to live. Suzana was raped and Jovan tortured. In Australia they take jobs that are beneath their level of education: she works as a carer; he, formerly a university lecturer, is now a hospital janitor. Jovan used to be a prolific poet and Suzana wrote fiction, but neither has done much writing since they migrated.' (Introduction)